Judas Priest guitar hero, Richie Faulkner, has finally spoken out about the tense medical emergency that led to his hospitalisation last week. He has revealed to fans that it was actually an aneurysm he suffered on stage.
The musician, who is just 41, was admitted to hospital last week citing “major heart condition issues”. The event was so severe that the metal icons postponed the remainder of their ’50 Heavy Metal Years’ tour dates over in the US.
After the emergency, it was thankfully reported that Faulkner was in a “stable” condition. His partner, Mariah Lynch explained on social media: “(He’s) so tough that he finished the show & kept the hair flips coming. There’s no one like him. We’d be lost without him.”
Now, the guitarist has provided a statement explaining to fans the position he now finds himself in. Via Rolling Stone, the guitarist confirmed that he had indeed suffered an aortic aneurysm during Judas Priest’s set at the already eventful Louder Than Life Festival in Louisville, Kentucky on Sunday, 26th September.
At the inception of the length statement, he explained that in terms of his health, the issue came “totally out of the blue” as he had “no history of a bad heart, no clogged arteries or high cholesterol”.
“I’ve always been grateful for the opportunities I’ve been presented with,” Faulkner stated. “I’ve always considered myself THE most fortunate man ever — to be able to play my favourite music — with my favourite band — to my favourite people around the world. Today just being able to type this to you all is the biggest gift of all.”
He continued: “As I watch footage from the Louder Than Life Festival in Kentucky, I can see in my face the confusion and anguish I was feeling whilst playing ‘Painkiller’ as my aorta ruptured and started to spill blood into my chest cavity.
He then explained just how lucky to be alive he is: “I was having what my doctor called an aortic aneurysm and complete aortic dissection. From what I’ve been told by my surgeon, people with this don’t usually make it to the hospital alive.”
Faulkner also discussed that when he arrived in hospital he underwent a major procedure. He underwent nearly 11 hours of open-heart surgery. He revealed: “Five parts of my chest were replaced with mechanical components” and that “I’m literally made of metal now.”
He concluded: “Although I have a recovery road ahead of me, as soon as I’m able to get up and running again, you’ll be the first to know and we’ll get back out there delivering the goods for you all!”
Although not an original member of Judas Priest, he has been a permanent member since 2011, when he entered the fold to replace the band’s longtime axeman K.K. Downing. The London born guitarist has featured on their last two albums Redeemer of Souls and Firepower.
Watch Faulkner play an incredible guitar solo below.